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About time: Fannie Mae begins taxpayer payback

Fannie Mae announced that it will pay $59.4 billion in dividends to the U.S. Treasury, helping to reduce the net cost of its taxpayer bailout to $21.1 billion, Reuters reported.

A strengthening housing market has helped the mortgage giant to record a record profit in the first quarter this year.

This also marks the fifth-consecutive quarter for profits for the government-sponsored enterprise (GSE). Critics have written that a significant payback program should have already been underway.

Since government regulators took over Fannie Mae in September 2008, it has received $116.1 billion in taxpayer funds.

Freddie Mac, which was also placed into FHFA conservatorship in 2008, has received about $71 billion in taxpayer aid since that time. By the end of June, it will have paid $36.6 billion of that back to the Treasury.

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